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Open Access Case report

Frontal mucocele with an accompanying orbital abscess mimicking a fronto-orbital mucocele: case report

Erdinc Aydin13*, Guzin Akkuzu1, Babur Akkuzu1 and Banu Bilezikci2

Author Affiliations

1 Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Ankara, Turkey

2 Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology, Ankara, Turkey

3 Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Department of Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery, 6. Cadde No:72/2, 06490 Bahcelievler-Ankara, Turkey

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BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2006, 6:6  doi:10.1186/1472-6815-6-6

Published: 18 April 2006

Abstract

Background

Mucoceles are slowly expanding cystic lesions with respiratory epithelium containing mucus most commonly affecting the frontal and ethmoidal sinuses. They are caused by obstruction of sinus ostium. Mucoceles exert pressure on the bony boundaries and due to the proximity to the brain and orbit extension to these areas are common.

Case presentation

A case of a frontal mucocele with an accompanying orbital abscess mimicking a fronto-orbital mucocele is reported. A 77 year old female patient suffering from left sided proptosis and pain around the left eye was admitted to our department. She had a history of left frontal sinus mucocele one year ago that was offered an osteoplastic frontal sinus surgery that the patient refused. Patient had limitation of eye movements. Fundoscopic examination revealed a minimal papilledema. Coronal computerized tomography and orbital magnetic resonance imaging showed a frontal mucocele with suspicious erosion of the orbital roof and a superiorly localized extraconal mass displacing the orbit lateroinferiorly. Frontal and orbital masses had similar intensities. Thus surgery was planned for a fronto-orbital mucocele. During surgery no defect was found on the orbital roof. Frontal mucocele and orbital cystic mass was removed separately. Pathological examination showed a frontal mucocele and an orbital abscess wall. Postoperatively eye movements returned to normal and papilledema resolved.

Conclusion

Fronto-orbital mucoceles are commonly encountered pathologies, but frontal mucocele with an orbital abscess is a rarely seen and should be kept in mind because their treatments differ.